Monday, March 5, 2018

New York Fashion Week: A Rousing Start, then Quiet and Quieter

The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection 2018.
Text & Photographs by Jill Lynne

Perhaps the Fashion Industry is at its best when it is charitable.
So I begin with the American Heart Association's "Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection."

Presented by Macy's, "The Heart Truth" was founded in 2003 to highlight the fact that cardiovascular disease is women's greatest health threat, claiming the life of one woman every 80 seconds.

The good news is that 80% of heart disease is preventable — through education and lifestyle changes.

The Red Dress Collection celebrates survival and life. Celebrities and VIPs walk the runway wearing their favorite designers, while dedicating their performance to a loved one.

And the positive energy is over-the-top high — from the glowing participants through the cheering crowds!
Broadway’s actress and singer Lea Salonga opened the show at Hammerstein Ballroom. Actress Marisa Tomei hosted the Red Dress Collection event wearing Carmen Marc Valvo.
Melissa Joan Hart of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” fame wears John Paul Ataker. Model Niki Taylor wears Badgley Mischka.
“Greenleaf” star Lynn Whitfield wears Terani Couture. Grammy Award winner CeCe Winans wears Nicholas K.
 The fabulously hi-energy En Vogue — Rhona Bennett, Terry Ellis and Cindy Herron-Braggs— conclude the show with a rousing performance. They are all wearing Michael Costello.
Whereas, The Blue Jacket Fashion Show focused on bringing fashion, entertainment, sports and media figures with top designers to raise awareness and funds for The Prostate Cancer Foundation. Blue Jackets were created by the likes of Duckie Brown, Geoffrey Beene, John Varvatos, Joseph Aboud, Michael Kors, Theory, and Thom Browne ...
Entertainer and Broadway star Billy Porter (loved him in “Kinky Boots"). Dr. Mehmet Oz, who has taught so many so much. Fashionista Extrordinaire, Simon Doonan, the Creative Ambassador at Large for Barneys.
The central site for New York Fashion Week was the inconveniently located Spring Street Studios, where one had to wait for an elevator to reach the fifth floor. Just imagine the crowds. So I decided to stay close to home and attend the shows in and around the West Village.

Perhaps it was a mix of the the bitter cold, the gloomy state of our nation, the world, a visceral aversion to crowds — borne of trepidations to both the severe flu and unpredictable terrorism — but a discernibly somber tone hovered about.

However, creativity, art and beauty has the potential to inspire — Zang Toi's beautiful Fall 2018 Haute Roman Holiday Collection served as the perfect example.
Trends notes: Bare shoulders, floral headdresses — from hats through bands, brilliant neon Colors, squared sharp-angled padded & constructed shoulders.
Cocoon-like shapes — especially for outerwear — capes, capelets, long and short, floral prints.
Chinese-style satin ensemble. Note the strong boxy-shaped Kimono-like silhouette with 3/4 angled sleeves. The happy designer, Zang Toi, midst the clapping and clacking.
Model and actress Carol Alt. Victoria's Secret Angel Josephine Skriver.
Artist/ composer and Zang Fan #1, Lucia Hwong Gordon. VF’s George Wayne.
Duckie Brown — the edgy menswear designer duo of Steven Cox and Daniel Silver — held their presentation in their West 13th Street West Village Studio.
Clockwise from top left: Duckie Brown designers of non-binary and non-seasonal bracketing attire; A play on the classic L.L.Bean rugby shirt (tweaked in oversize and emblem); Pleated skirts and kilts for men (•trending); Day-Glo colors in pop designs; Unisex coats.
The designers' drafting/design table.
Emerging designer Meredith Stoecklein poses with model wearing her "LEIN." Note: Pinafore-like ruffles.

Meredith chose red as her primary color ... pictured above in the red lace Sherry dress fabricated in Italian wool lace from LEIN.
At Industria, The CAAFD — Council of Aspiring American Fashion Designers showcased three new designers.

My favorite was Port Zienna designed by the Peruvian Francesca Canepa. Having studied around the world and worked with Oscar de la Renta and J. Mendel, it was very on trend.
Trending in paired down modern silhouettes with the popular simplified palette of black, white and the new gray.
While at the CAAFD I connected with Tish and Snooky, the fun founders of Manic Panic. Back in 1977 they opened their famed boutique on Saint Marks Place. Way ahead of their time they created a line of Day-Glo cosmetics and hair color, as well as their fashion line, all of which heralded NYC's punk movement.
Still an active force in the industry, their products are worn proudly by top models and fashion designers and are available on their website.

And a few additional Trends before we leave you ...

• The new Epson digital printer program allows designers to produce small quantities of their textile designs; so look for unique patterns and customized fashion gear.

• Look for an extended palette of soft mauve, blush pinks, and powder purples, as well as a range of citrons.

• More sneakers and sneaker-like flat or wedgie comfort shoes as well as actual sneakers galore — mostly in white! — for men and women.

• Wide leg pants with fitted waists are very "in."

• The lil' leather jacket, short & bomber style, is a trendy wardrobe accessory.

• Watch for trending metallic heels which give a floaty impression.
The times they are a changing ...

With Carolina Herrera stepping down as the design creator of her celebrated brand and the closing of the amusing Milk Studios, the fashionable landscape is transforming itself.

Many hope that a sense of community and excitement will be restored when the runways return under the tents at the new Hudson Yards.